Amazing pictures of burdens on bikes

Dutch photographer  Hans Kemp  first visited Vietnam in 1991 and was immediately struck by the sheer amount of motorbikes on the road – the preferred transportation for locals. 

‘I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was an incessant stream of motorbikes on the road in front of me. There were entire families on a bike, guys in suits, girls dolled up,’ Kemp recalled to  Slate . 

Kemp eventually moved to Ho Chi Minh city from Hong Kong in 1995, and in 2000 one of his commercial clients commissioned him to take pictures of the local motorbikes. 

What started off as an assignment turned into a passion project and for two years Kemp spent his free time taking pictures of motorbikes across the country.

Wheels: Dutch photographer Hans Kemp spent two years on the roads of Vietnam, photographing motorbikes for his book ‘Bikes of Burden’

Beginnings: Kemp started the project in 2000, when he was hired to photograph motorbikes for a client. But the project became so much more

No wasted space: Kemp first visited Vietnam in 1991, when he was living in Hong Kong. He was immediately struck by the locals unique way of transport

To capture the bikes in motion, Kemp would ride in the back of a Honda Super Cub to scout for bikes with interesting loands.

Once something caught his eye, he would have the driver pull a U-turn and then photograph the bikes parallel, from high-speed.

In 2005, Kemp published Bikes of Burden, which quickly became a popular photography book and he recently visited Vietnam again to take more pictures for a revised version. 

‘Seeing this unique species alive and kicking and swirling through Vietnam’s traffic, still vigorous and proud after so many years made me realize that they could very well be there to stay,’ he said. 

Kemp’s  Bikes of Burden is available for purchase on Amazon.

Looking: To capture the images, Kemp would go out scouting on the back of a Honda Super Cub

Race: When he would spot a particularly interesting bike, he would have the driver turn around and then capture the bike from high-speed while driving parallel

Bestseller: Kemp originally published Bikes of Burden in 2005, and it quickly became a popular photography book 

Updated: Kemp recently revisited Vietnam to take new pictures for a revised edition of Bikes of Burden

Alive and well: Revisiting the country, and seeing how many people still use motorbikes gave Kemp hope that this mode of transportation will last

The day’s catch: A curious fish is stashed on the back of this motorbike

Concentration: A woman balances purchases as she sits on the back of her motorbike

On sale:  Bikes of Burden  is available for purchase on Amazon

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